Ferns are lush and bright green perennial plants that can grow in various conditions. Whether you plant them indoors or outdoors, these plants can add a forest vibe to your spaces. You can grow ferns in hanging pots in your living room or use them as hedge plants in your garden. Either way, they will look stunning.
Most ferns prefer the shade but if you can’t provide them with that, rest assured: you can find varieties that stand sunlight. But can ferns take full sun? And what can you do to make them thrive? In this essential guide, you’ll find everything you should know about ferns’ lighting requirements (and much more).
Can Ferns Take Full Sun?
Light is a critical requirement for all plants to thrive. But not all plants need the same amount of sunlight. Some do best under the sade, and others require plenty of hours of full sun to get all the energy they need.
Ferns are known to be shady plants. Most species tolerate partial sun but perform best under low light conditions. If you are going them indoors, they will thrive under indirect light. You can place them around your house in attractive hanging baskets to add a jungly feeling to your spaces. Alternatively, you can plant them in a pot and place them close to a window facing north or east.
Luckily, there is a solution for those who can’t offer protection from sun rays to their plants. Indeed, some species of ferns do well in full sunlight. However, with those, you’ll have to ensure frequent watering. For them to survive, they need consistently moist soil. Taking care of a sun-tolerant fern can be challenging. But if you are ready to take the responsibility to meet its requirements, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning lush plant.
What Types of Ferns are Tolerant to Full Sun?
In this section, we included the species of fern that will tolerate direct sunlight without showing problems. Keep reading to find out which ferns you should get to add more green to your yard.
The family of Osmunda Ferns includes three species: the cinnamon, the interrupted, and the royal ferns. All three do well under the sun. However, only cinnamon fern and royal fern will grow well under full sunlight all day. The interrupted fern will require some protection during the warmer hours of the day. Rember to regularly check the soil and keep it moist. If you live in a windy area, you won’t have to worry about protecting them. However, these species tend to be slow growers. Consider planting them in clumps to make them look lusher.
The Athyrium Ferns family includes the Lady Fern. While these plants do well under full sun, they need protection at noon. Otherwise, they might display some browning on individual leaves that will be hard to reverse. If you live in a warm region, choose the Southern Lady fern. Among all types of ferns, this species is one of the most tolerant to heat. With adequate care, these plants can grow to a height of two feet.
The Ostrich fern can thrive under full sunlight in hardiness zones between 3 and 7. The intensity of direct sunlight in southern regions might be too much for these plants. With this, we are not saying that you can’t grow ostrich ferns in states like Texas or California. However, you will have to provide them with some protection from the afternoon sun.
These plants make for an ideal hedge: they can grow up to 5 feet in height and spread fast under optimal conditions. Also, they tolerate harsh winters quite well.
Bracken ferns are another ideal hedge plant, especially if you live in USDA hardiness zones between 3 and 6. However, they spread so fast that they can become invasive if you don’t keep them under control.
Desert Setting Ferns
These ferns are the most tolerant to drought conditions and will perform well under direct sun. They will only grow up to one foot in height, but they are perfect options for rock gardens. However, they don’t tolerate low temperatures as much as other species.
Can Ferns Take Full Sun?: The Bottom Line
With this essential guide, you should now have a better idea of which plants to choose for your garden. While most ferns thrive under partial shade or indirect light, you can find species that will perform well in full sun. Make sure you water them often to allow them to grow and thrive.
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